WARNINGS: Strong language, violence, angst and scenes some may find offensive.
CROSSOVER: Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider (2013)
PAIRING: Vaas Montenegro, Lara Croft
REFERENCES: Neverland is from Peter Pan.
I suppose there's some kind of inspiration from Inglourious Basterds in this chapter.
NOTES: So...I should explain myself for having left this story for so long. First of all, when I started this story, it was winter. That means I don't get out much because of the weather, but when summer swings around I'm like the busiest person. There's always something going on. There was the hardcore revision which led to even more hardcore exams (finals ones before uni, I may add). After that I got a puppy *cue the aww's*. When I got him he was 6 weeks old and I literally couldn't leave him alone, he was like a baby. Now he's over 4 months old and he's a little more independent but is still hard work, so bear with me. I've also been on holiday to Spain and got a nice tan ogling the sexy natives. So, yeah, pretty much busy, on top of that I'm a major procrastinator.
Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to apologise for something in the previous chapter. I have no idea why, but when I uploaded the chapter to FanFiction, it removed some spaces therefore merging words together that didn't make sense. I'm not sure if it did it on Tumblr, too, because I haven't checked, but it definitely wasn't like that in the word file. As for the typos, they were my fault.
I'd like to thank everyone who reviewed and shit on FF . net and those who liked/reblogged it on Tumblr. Special thanks to the reviewers, I need to answer some of your questions actually.
GJ115: Am I planning on having Hoyt or Citra make an appearance?
At this moment in time, I actually don't entirely know. I'd like them to make some appearance, but if they did, it'd only be small.
evolution-500: Will I be using the iconic 'definition of insanity' speech?
Ugh, I feel terrible for saying this, but I am sick to death of that monologue. It's such a great one, too, but it's such a great speech that it's totally overused. Buuuut, there will be some sort of...reference to it, further on in the story. I will not be using it word for word because that screams, unoriginal.
Anquietas: Will Jason appear?
Jason and his friends will be mentioned, but they won't appear. The skydiving incident hasn't happened in this story yet.
Raluca Teodora, you should totally play Far Cry 3. Do it. Do it, do it, do it! And I'm glad you noticed all my hat tips to A:MR. It's been that long that I don't even remember which chapters have those references. I wouldn't say the Rakyat were overly friendly. They just didn't want to make any more enemies I suppose. And I know you haven't played FC3 (don't want to spoil too much), but Dennis was willing to save Jason without even knowing him, so I'd like to think he'd so the same for Lara.
Insanity: Y U NO UPDATE?
I explained this earlier on.
Thanks, CaptainKatie643, schoolruler, XxsopoxX, Vaasfan, Teamdarly and one guest for your review. As for the other guest...I don't even. If you don't like Vaas, don't take it out on my story. Yes, I know he's a dick, but, bitch, please. I know you didn't disrespect my story in any way, but please don't review with a vent about how you can't stand him. It wasn't even constructive criticism.
Chapter 15: What the Doctor Ordered
Dennis drove me to Dr Earnhardt's as soon as we left the pirate camp. I told my friends to wait in Amanaki for my return – hopefully, I wouldn't be too long. The Sun was beginning to rise and I hadn't caught a single wink of sleep that night. I was constantly falling in and out of slumber on the way there, but Dennis kept shaking me awake in fear that I wouldn't wake again due to the major blood loss.
As I was about to drift off again, Dennis came to a sudden halt, jolting me into vigilance. My wide eyes turned to Dennis. "This is as far as I can take you. Dr Earnhardt's house is just up this hill, you can't miss it. From what I can see, the place is clear of pirates, so you should be safe," he explained. "Though, it bears repeating that you should have your wits about you when in his company. He's harmless, but can be hard work."
I nodded and stepped out of the vehicle. I held my arm suddenly feeling the pain of the injury. "Thank you," I muttered as I turned away and started walking up to the Earnhardt abode.
The house seemed out of place in this environment. It was just a white picket fence away from being the idyllic, suburban American home. The garden was even adorned with a little stream and a bridge to boot – how quaint.
I knocked on the front door, making sure to use my good arm. On the other side of the door there was a surprised exclaim followed by a crash and a bang ultimately leading to the door actually opening. I was greeted by a flustered-looking old man. His white hair was ruffled and his eyes seemed sunken. I had forgotten that the morn was still early.
"I'm sorry to wake you," I began. The man, who I assumed to be the doctor, squinted as if trying to make me out in his weary eyes. "I need your help," I continued though I don't think he was paying attention to a word I was saying. With his eyes still squinted, he began slowly falling forward. When he got too close, I had to hold onto him to stop him from completely keeling over. "Whoa, there, are you okay?"
"Are you one of Agnes' friends? It's a little early to be playing out, isn't it?" He questioned.
"Excuse me? I think you may have me confused," I replied. Surely, this was the doctor. He seemed absolutely mad.
"Oh." He stared at me with a surprised expression for a moment and then started to close the door.
I quickly placed the hand on the door to stop him from shutting it further. "No, sir, I came here for your help. Are you Dr Earnhardt? I was told you were the man to come to if I needed aid."
"Oh, my dear child, I'm so sorry. Please, come in." He smiled, opening the door once again. Hesitantly, I entered. He was clearly unstable and through past experiences with other unstable men, I knew they were not to be trusted. In the end, did I really have a choice?
The house was a complete pig sty. There was furniture, books and paper scattered everywhere and there was the strangest, pungent stink in the air. I didn't want to think about what that smell could be. He led me into the kitchen, where the smell grew even stronger. This is where he must have done his "cooking". Some weird substances were simmering in a pot over the stove and multicoloured pills were scattered on the counter beside it.
"I'm going to have to ask you to keep quiet; my daughter Agnes is still asleep upstairs and I'd hate for her to disturb. Now, what was it you wanted?"
"I was shot. I was told you could heal me." I showed him my bloodied arm which was still bleeding even now.
"I'll be right back," he grinned.
I could still hear him rustling around in the room next to me. He seemed kind enough, if not a little skittish. "So, you said you had a daughter; Agnes? How old is she?" I questioned for the sake of small talk.
"Ah, Agnes, the light of my life. She's almost eight now," he answered, returning with a medical kit. "She was only two when we arrived on this island, before all those pirates inhabited the jungle. It's a funny story. I took my daughter sailing with me, I wanted to show her the world, but we happened to stumble upon this island. It was beautiful. The place reminded me of an island that was in a book I used to read to my daughter – Neverland. Naturally, we had to stop and explore. What was supposed to be a short stay turned into fulltime residency. At least Neverland stays true to its name; it feels as if Agnes hasn't aged a day. She'll always be the little two-year-old angel who always wanted her daddy's attention."
I smiled at his words. I kept the notion that he was a madman whose words could be total nonsense in the back of my head, but to hear his stories still brightened up my mood slightly. He spoke so sweetly of Agnes, but I just couldn't get my head around how she could have survived here for so long with such brutish savages plaguing every part of this island.
He continued to tell me stories of Agnes as he stitched me up and tended to any other wounds. It was as if he was speaking amongst himself rather than towards me, but I humoured him nonetheless.
"Agnes sounds like a lovely child, but I must ask, how have you managed to raise her with pirates being around every corner?"
"The pirates bare no threat to me or Agnes. They are by no means kind or friendly people, but they respect me. They don't love me, they respect me. And I, on the other hand, I don't respect them in any aspect, but I endure them. I have to tolerate them for Agnes' sake and safety."
"I'd love to meet Agnes." After everything that's been happening lately, it'd be nice to see something innocent. It was nice knowing that within all the darkness on this island, there was some purity.
After Dr Earnhardt finished up bandaging my arm, he turned away momentarily returning with bowls of, what looked like, pills. "Take one of the blue pills," he ordered. "They'll numb the pain...or was it the red ones? No, no, it was definitely the blue pills."
I stared at them sceptically. He rattled them slightly to urge me further. "Are you sure? My parents told me never to take sweets from strangers, let alone pills."
"Darling, I'm a real doctor with a real PhD. If you still doubt my authenticity, I can show you my degree, if you like?"
"No, no, I believe you." I stared down at the pills. Here goes nothing. I quickly grabbed one of the blue ones and swallowed it dry.
"The purple ones are for me," the doctor stated with joy.
"And the red ones?"
"They'll kill you," he replied nonchalantly.
My eyes widened at his response. Not a moment ago he was confusing the blue with the red, now he seemed so calm about it. Surely, this was something you should know for definite; which pills were poison and which acted as medicine.
My moment of panic was cut short when I heard movement from upstairs. I assumed it was coming from Agnes. With the floorboards creaking, I could pinpoint exactly where she was with every footstep.
"Here's my little angel now," Earnhardt gleamed as he awaited her presence.
"Good morning," a familiar voice greeted. My neck almost snapped at the speed I turned around. "Lara?"
I quickly stood up and engulfed Sam in a tight hug. I was completely awestruck and relieved at the sight of my dear friend who was once lost but now found. "Oh, my God. I'm so glad you're alright. I thought I wasn't ever going to be able to find you."
"Ah, so you are one of Agnes' friends then?" Earnhardt asked again. Both Sam and I glanced at each other with equally confused expressions. "I'll put the kettle on, you two take a seat."
I sat back down at the table with Sam joining me this time. We smiled at each other, slightly lost on where to begin. "So, what's his deal?" I asked firstly, finding this Dr Earnhardt character to be a strange one. I whispered under my breath so that he didn't actually hear me questioning his mentality.
Sam shrugged her shoulders before answering. "He refers to me as Agnes who, I'm pretty sure, is his daughter. There're pictures of a little girl framed upstairs in my room which I'm assuming are of her."
"Where is she? What happened to her?"
"I haven't the nerve to ask. He's so convinced that I'm her, I don't have the heart to tell him otherwise. I know he seems a little weird, but he wouldn't hurt a fly. When Vaas sold me to him, I feared the worst. I just thought he was going to be a total creep. And I know being sold to anyone isn't exactly a good thing, but it could have seriously been far worse. At least I'm looked after here. He dotes on me and keeps me well nourished – nowhere near like how I was treated at that camp. They're selling people, Lara. They're actually making a profit from forcing innocent people into slavery and other nasty business."
I sighed in disgust. I couldn't bear to be on this island a moment longer. I was just happy that I had finally found Sam, safe.
Dr Earnhardt returned to the table with a tray of tea and began pouring out the liquid into teacups. "So, I fear I have been incredibly rude. We haven't been properly introduced, have we? I am Dr Alec Earnhardt," after finishing pouring tea for three, he stretched out his arm.
I took his hand and shook it happily. "Lara Croft, pleasure to meet you, Doctor."
"Is that an English accent I detect?"
"You detect correctly. Westminster, London."
"Ah, I'm an Oxford man, myself."
As we all sipped our tea, we indulged in pointless chit chat. It was mainly to appease Dr Earnhardt more than anything. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to get out of there and reunite with the rest of my group so that we could finally plan to get off this island. Now that he was convinced that Sam was his daughter, he wasn't going to let her go too easily.
"Father," Sam started. I raised my eyebrow and suppressed a chortle. I sipped my tea to hide my grin. "Is it okay if I go out to play with Lara for a while?"
"Of course, but I don't want you out too late."
"Come on, Lara. I want to show you something before we go out," Sam declared as she held onto my arm.
I was led upstairs to her "room". Everything was pink for his little Agnes. Sure enough, there were pictures of a little toddler everywhere. I'd love to know what really happened to her.
"Freaky, huh?" Sam joked as she showed me around. There was silence as I examined the room, until Sam broke it again. "Lara, I understand if you don't want to talk about it, but what happened after I left you in Vaas' camp?"
"It's a very long story. Maybe one day, I'll tell you, but a lot has happened, Sam. It'll take too long to tell in one sitting. Right now, we need to focus on getting out of here. We can't stay situated in one place for too long; Vaas is looking for me. I'm jumping at shadows, Sam. I can't help but always feel as if somehow he's watching my every move."
I looked out of the window of the balcony. As if by some cruel twist of fate, one of the pirates' signature red trucks was pulling up outside of Dr Earnhardt's home.
"Oh, shit," I exclaimed. Speak of the Devil and he shall appear. "He's here, Sam!"
"What?" Before I could explain myself, I grabbed onto Sam and dragged her downstairs with me.
"Doctor, I need your help. Vaas is just outside and I have to ask you to keep quiet about my being here, please. If he knows that I was here, he could hurt you, maybe even Agnes. So you're going to have to help me hide."
I knew as soon as I had mentioned the notion of Agnes being maimed, he wouldn't hesitate to help. "Agnes, help your friend hide under the house. Use the back door," he ordered quickly with panic evident in his eyes.
Quietly, but quickly, Sam and I snuck out of the back door. I could hear Vaas' heavy footsteps making their way over the bridge. Sam motioned for me to crawl into a small opening under the house, so I did so willingly. I stopped crawling when I heard a knock at the front door. I lay on my back as still as a statue with my hand covering my mouth so that even my breathing couldn't be heard.
From my position, I could see through the cracks of the floorboards, but only slightly. I watched as Dr Earnhardt went to answer the door.
"I need a fix, doc." I heard Vaas barge into the house, uninvited, but what did I expect? He sounded tired and slightly unsettled in his tone. "I'm getting the shakes here, so, uh, make it quick, eh?"
His combat boots shuffled against the floor slightly, causing dust and dirt to fall from the floorboards and onto my face. He was stood directly above me, legs slightly apart. The sadistic side of me couldn't help thinking that I could easily blow his balls straight off right now if I risked pulling my gun from my holster. However, I didn't want to make the slightest noise that could possibly attract unwanted attention.
"Hey, Sammy, did you miss me?" Vaas mocked. From his question, I deduced that Sam was back inside the house now.
Sam never answered his question, but instead I heard footsteps running up the stairs. Vaas chuckled to himself, finding pleasure in Sam's discomfort.
As I watched Vaas, I noticed that his ability to stay still was slowly deteriorating. The longer Earnhardt was gone, the more fidgety he became. He was like an impatient child, swinging his arms, pacing back and to, touching and inspecting random objects to keep his mind occupied.
"Ay, what's taking so long? I said I wanted a fucking fix, I didn't say you had to gift wrap it with a fucking bow on top," Vaas hollered as he stomped into the kitchen.
"Patience is a virtue, Mr Montenegro," retorted Earnhardt.
"I don't give a fuck about your virtue and vice bullshit, just hurry the fuck up." He leaned against the doorframe of the kitchen and watched the doctor rush around. There was silence for a short while, but something had perked Vaas' interest. "What's this? You had company or something, amigo? A little, uh, ménage à trois?"
"Excuse me?" Earnhardt stopped what he was doing to direct his attention to what had caught Vaas'. My eyes squeezed shut as my stomach dropped. I wasn't sure what it was Vaas was speculating, but his tone was already suspicious. Damn his powerful observational skills.
"There's, uh, three cups here. Last time I checked there're only two living in this house. I must ask, who was the third cup for?"
"Oh, uh, I merely poured myself a second cup. It was rather delicious – can I persuade you to try a cup?"
Following Earnhardt's terrible cover-up, there was an uncomfortable silence. The awkwardness was emphasised by the fact that I couldn't properly make out what was actually happening above me. I could make out, however, that it was going to be a little more difficult to pull the wool over Vaas' eyes.
"Are you hiding something from me, doc?"
"Whatever do you mean? What would I be hiding? The idea is completely preposterous!" I cringed at Earnhardt's further attempts to trick Vaas. Maybe he was just too honest of a man or maybe he was just insane, but he sincerely could not tell a successful lie.
"Okay, man, it's fine, it's fucking fine. I have no reason not to believe you, no? I didn't come here to play no games with you; just give me what I came here for and I'll be on my way."
When Earnhardt sighed and returned to his task, I could make out Vaas crouching. He was trying to examine something below him. After poking at something on the floor, he raised his hand and took a closer look at his finger. Blood coated the tip of his index – my blood. "You had an accident, amigo?" There was no reply. Vaas began slowly moving closer to my hiding spot in his crouched position with his eyes fixated on something on the floor. He tracked what I could only assume to be a trail of my blood with his hawk eyes. Suddenly, he stopped. A grin tugged at the corners of his lips. "I spy with my little eye something beginning with R," he sneered. He lay on the floor above me and peered down through the small crevice. "Rat."